In marking the World Day Against Child Labor this year, FIDA Nigeria seizes this significant occasion to remind all of the urgent need to eradicate child labor and safeguard the rights of children, particularly in our communities in Nigeria.
We find repeated infringements despite the fact that Nigeria is a signatory to and has ratified or domesticated conventions that ban child labor; it is therefore, sad to note that Child labor is still on the rise in our communities and we must aggressively tackle this evil menace that stifles the proper growth and development of children
Child labour has remained a pervasive issue that affects millions of children globally, depriving them of their childhood, education, and a safe environment
We demand social justice in this respect. In recent years, the term “social justice” has become just as prominent as “human rights. It’s essentially a concept of fairness, equitable division of resources, opportunities, and privileges in society
“The abolition of child labor is a cornerstone of the aspiration for social justice, through which every worker can claim freely and on the basis of equality of opportunity and treatment their fair share of the wealth that they have helped to generate”
To commemorate the “Day Against Child Labor,” FIDA Nigeria through her 45 branches will be organizing a series of events, including seminars, workshops, and awareness campaigns, to highlight the importance of ending child labor.
We invite individuals, organizations, and stakeholders to join us in this noble cause and effectively contribute to creating a world where every child’s right is protected, and their future secured.
FIDA actively supports initiatives that promote the enforcement of effective legislation against child labour, including the strengthening of child protection mechanisms. We work towards empowering communities to identify and report cases of child labour, providing legal aid and support to affected children and their families in line with the theme “Social Justice for All. End Child Labour!”.
FIDA reaffirms its dedication to fighting child labour through legal advocacy, awareness campaigns, and community engagement. We call upon governments, non-governmental organizations, businesses, and communities to unite and take concrete steps to end child labour and protect the well-being of children.
We firmly believe that every child deserves a childhood free from exploitation and the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential.
Together, let us raise our voices, advocate for change, and take action to eliminate child labor.
Join FIDA and stand against child labor on June 12 and every day thereafter.
Amina Suzanah Agbaje (Mrs)
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria, Ondo State Branch has solicited for an improved partnership with the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) so as to extend its activities to the Southern parts of Ondo State.
The Association made the appeal during a courtesy visit to the Commission’s Chairman, Elder Sam Erejuwa in his office on Wednesday.
The Chairperson of the Ondo State Branch who led the visitation team, Barrister Catherine Ogunjebi highlighted some of the Association’s activities in different parts of the State. According to her, FIDA Nigeria, and its Ondo State Branch is preoccupied with protecting and defending the rights of the less privileged and championing the course of women and children.
Amongst the specific activities of the Association in various communities across the State include: organising awareness programs on the laws of the land, sensitizing the people on steps to take when their rights are violated, appearing in court to prosecute offenders and to defend victims of human right abuse, and educating opinion and community leaders on how to mediate in minor cases.
Barrister Ogunjebi further intimated the Chairman of the Association’s upcoming National Conference which would be hosted by the Ondo State Branch between 21st and 24th of June, 2023.
While soliciting for the Commission’s support towards the success of the much anticipated event, the Chairperson requested the presence of the Chairman and the Management team at the event saying this would provide an avenue to showcase the Commission and other partners to the world.
While reacting, OSOPADEC Chairman, Elder Sam Erejuwa appreciated the Association for the visit. He lauded the women lawyers for their immense contributions to societal development, promising that the Commission will continue to be its progressive partner.
Erejuwa revealed that the Commission in the coming days would organise a sensitization program in the mandate areas.
He said the program which would be in collaboration with various security agencies is aimed at “changing the mindset” of the people in a bid to drastically reduce the rate of social vices in the region.
Erejuwa looked forward to the active support and participation of the women lawyers in the proposed program as their input would undoubtedly add more value.
In her closing remarks, a member of the team and the Director of the Commission’s Legal Services Department, Barrister Pamela Olowoyo commended the Commission for not limiting its mandate to projects and infrastructures but also focusing on human capital development.
She expressed optimism that the partnership of OSOPADEC and FIDA will assist in addressing the sad stories of the violation of the rights of women and children in the riverine areas of the State.
Also in attendance were Barristers Olubunmi Niyi-Arajuwa (FIDA National Financial Secretary), Bolanle Oladunni (PRO), Yetunde Ademigoke (Treasurer), and Adesola Dapo-Filani.
FIDA Abuja as part of activities to mark the children’s day, went on a school outreach to Government Junior Secondary School, Gwarimpa on the 26th of May 2023, in a delegate led by the Branch Chairperson
The Chairperson in introducing FIDA and its mandate informed the students on the purpose of the outreach which was to celebrate in advance, the Children’s Day marked on the 27th of May 2023. She reminded them that they are primarily the voice and hope of the future and also informed them of the Child Rights Act 2007, which protects that voice.
The Branch’s Publicity Secretary further enlightened the students on the rights of a child to free, compulsory, and universal primary education using Section 15 of the Child Rights Act.
Realizing the role FIDA plays in the lives of women and children, the School’s principal, Mrs. Zainab Hassan, appreciated FIDA for the enlightenment and prayed for continuous exercise in the school for the benefit of the children.
In response, the Chairperson while promising a cordial and working relationship, assured the school’s principal of subsequent exercises in the school.
Closing the visit, the Chairperson presented copies of the VAPP Act, FIDA Contact/Flyers, and gift items to the school.
FIDA Uyo Branch in her efforts to ensure that parents, teachers, and other handlers of children are empowered to protect children and report violations, organized training on Child Protection and Safeguarding. The training was held on 25th May 2023 at Justice Eno Otu Bar Centre, Uyo.
Forty-five participants drawn from heads of public and private schools, parents, handlers of children in church, and NGOs benefited from the training.
Highlights of topics discussed were: Child Rights, Principles of Safeguarding; Types of abuse; detecting non-physical abuse, and taking action where there is abuse or likelihood of abuse.
On behalf of the participants, the principal of Ndikpo Grammar School. Mrs. Julie Effiong thanked FIDA for the training and urged FIDA to train more handlers of children.
FIDA holds debate for stakeholders towards developing a policy statement on the unconstitutionality of the provision of section 396 (7) of the ACJA in Kano State
In attendance were representative(s) of the Acting Chief Judge of Kano State, NBA Chairman, Ministry of Justice, PCACC, ICPC, Police, Corrections, Faculty of Law BUK, legal aid council, PWAN, and other partners.
Section 396(7) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, was coined to abolish delay of trials occasioned by the elevation of a sitting judge to a higher court, however, this section was decided unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Udeogu v FRN & Ors.
Premised on this, FIDA Nigeria on Wednesday the 24th of May organized a workshop in Kano State with the support of MacArthur Foundation, for stakeholders to debate on the effect of the unconstitutionality of section 396(7) as decided by the Supreme Court, with an objective to provide a platform for Criminal Justice Actors to discuss the implications the unconstitutionality of this section has on litigants in respect of speedy trials especially relating to corruption cases across various courts.
Inputs from Criminal Justice Actors will be collated, incorporated from discussions ranging from challenges in conclusions of speedy trials, recommendations and practical solutions in enhancing speedy trials taking into cognizance uniqueness of focal states peculiarities and independence in adopting the ACJA.
In attendance were representative(s) of the Acting Chief Judge of Kano State, NBA Chairman, Ministry of Justice, PCACC, ICPC, Police, Corrections, Faculty of Law BUK, legal aid council, PWAN and other partners.
The findings of the workshop will form part of the policy document being developed which will serve as an advocacy tool to relevant stakeholders at the National Level by outlining ways forward in ensuring the intention of the provision to aid the speedy dispensation of justice is preserved
In commemoration of the International Day of the Boy Child, FIDA Nigeria Rivers State Branch visited Enitonna Boys School, an all Boy’s School on the 16th of May 2022
In line with the theme of this year’s celebration, which bothers the Boy and his Mental Health, the boys were educated on the importance of mental health as well as the environmental factors that affect same. They were admonished to break all gender stereotypes, discover themselves and be confident in who they are. They were further advised to eschew all bad influences in society and focus on their education which is their primary responsibility.
Other topics discussed with the boys were; Sexual Offences and their consequences and the Rights of the Boy Child as provided under the laws of Rivers State.
It was an educative, enlightening, and insightful session for the boys and their teachers. Sophia I. J. Afolayan Publicity Secretary/Editor FIDA Nigeria Rivers State Branch.
The Chairperson Abuja branch, Chibuzo Nwosu, and Program Officer, Chioma Okoye – Chukwuma honored an invitation by the Foundation for Resilient Empowerment & Development (FRED) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs held at the Community Hall, Social Development Secretariat Area 10, Garki, Abuja. On Thursday, 30th of March, 2023.
The meeting was initiated by FRED to inaugurate the FCT GBV M & E State technical working group and subcommittees, present and adopt the finalized Terms of Reference (TOR) and finally upscale the collation and reporting of the rate of incidents of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the FCT using the national GBV reporting tools to enhance GBV data coordination and Management.
Goodwill messages were taken from Representatives of Nigerian Security & Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Legal secretariat, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Federal Ministry of Women Affairs (FMWA), Health Secretariat, Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Advocacy for Women with Disabilities Initiative (AWDI) Foundation For Resilient Empowerment (FRED) and our own very Chairperson, FIDA (Nigeria) Abuja Branch.
Delivering her goodwill message, the Chairperson applauded the Mandate Secretary for taking the initiative to establish the FCT Gender Based Violence Monitoring and Evaluation State Technical Working Group (GBV-STWG) with the aim of collective responsibility in the fight against Elimination of Violence against women and children in the FCT. She pledged her support towards the effective and efficient collaboration of FIDA as a member of the State Technical Working Group in implementing their mandate and activities. Presenting the finalized FCT GBV Terms of Reference for sub-committees, the Monitoring and Evaluation officer of FRED, Ahmeena Danjuma urged stakeholders for a collective participation in STWG activities so as to bridge the gaps in coordinating GBV reporting in the FCT. She concluded by encouraging participants who were yet to identify with a subcommittee to enlist and participate in committee activities as provided for in the Terms of Reference.
In closing, the Mandate Secretary of the Social Development Secretariat applauded stakeholders for attending the inauguration while stating that the inauguration of the STWG is a laudable milestone in the fight to end violence against women and children. She further urged stakeholders to work together to create a society free from all forms of violence against women and children. She warmly thanked participants and formally inaugurated the FCT State Technical Working Group.
Women remain under-represented in public life, which means that government policy, including economic policy may not take their needs and priorities into account. Policies which appear neutral on the surface may have unintended consequences, including increasing gender inequality.
On this premise, FIDA Nigeria on the 18th to 20th of April 2023, held a 3 day Training Session on Gender Responsive Budgeting as an important Advocacy Tool for Tracking Allocation, Releases, and Monitoring Utilization on Budgets towards addressing VAWG/SGBV/HP in Ebonyi State.
The capacity of the participants were measured through Pre and Post Evaluations and further through group work. They all made their commitments to lead coordinated advocacies to relevant MDAs in an effort to make sure that gender line items appear in every budget and also make sure that allocated resources for gender programs are utilized to improve on the expected outcomes.
On the 18th of April 2023, the branch led by the Chairperson, Chibuzo M. Nwosu visited female inmates of the Suleja Custodial Centre, Niger State.
The visit was made to secure the release of a female inmate whose fine was paid by the branch as part of her mandate and activities and also to commemorate the golden jubilee (50th birthday) of Mrs. Sarah Dejo.
The outing was graced with the presence of the Country Vice President (FIDA Nigeria), Mrs. Amina Susana Agbaje and notable members of the branch.
The Chairperson of the Branch, Chibuzo M. Nwosu, said that the visit was a success owing to the show of support of members from the three branches which include FIDA Gwagwalada, Niger State and Abuja chapters.
She however advised governments and NGOs to continue to show support by ensuring that the Correctional Service Centres and inmates were in proper conditions.
The Chairperson, FIDA Correctional Service Centre Committee, Dr. Rosemary Chikwendu, while stating the plan to reach out to sponsors to pay all outstanding fines of the inmates, said the visit was made out of love and to celebrate Mrs. Sarah Dejo’s 50th birthday.
According to the Committee Chair, “Reaching the Court, part of the compensation will be paid, but as inmates, you must be of good behaviour so that we can recommend you like the person that was recommended today”.
She advised the inmates to ensure they learn the various skills being taught in the Correctional Centre as it could be useful to them in life and be of good behavior.
The Chairperson of FIDA Gwagwalada, Prof. Josephine Agbonika SAN, reiterated that good behaviour counts as it helps in the release of the inmates from the Centre.
She however advised the inmates to abide by the rules of the Centre, saying it is not the end of the world.
Responding on behalf of other female inmates, Nene Odinze, appreciated the women lawyers for their donations and appealed for their support by providing educational materials like textbooks and notebooks as some of the inmates will enroll for WAEC and JAMB.
At the end of the visit, items such as Provisions, Sanitary Towels, Bags of Rice, Toilet Rolls, Detergents, Izals and Toothpaste, were donated by the branch.
On the 15th of March FIDA Nigeria Uyo Branch, in collaboration with the USAID-funded State Transparency, Accountability and Effectiveness activity trained women-led groups, media groups, and civil society organizations on combatting Gender-Based Violence in digital spaces.
A total of 26 participants were in attendance. The modules focused on identifying the forms of GBV proliferated in digital spaces and the role of community trainers in helping local communities address these issues. The training also highlighted the gender digital divide citing GBV as a key factor.
The training built the capacity of civil society organisations to leverage digital platforms to drive their advocacy in the face of shrinking civic spaces.
Participants’ capacity to address the challenges that trail digital advocacy efforts at addressing Gender Based Violence was further built.
Participants came up with action plans to build the capacity of their local communities through step-down trainings. The step-down training is expected to build the capacity of over 100 local community leaders on these forms of violence.